Robert John Lang, Jr., 58, passed into eternal life on Friday, January 21, 2022, at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold, NJ after Covid thwarted his very brief, but valiant battle against Lung Cancer.
Bob was born in NYC, NY. In his youth, he had the privilege of calling many places home; Oakland NJ, Florham Park NJ, and Stamford Conn., before finally moving to Scotch Plains NJ where he graduated Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School in 1981.
Bob had a passion for cars! This passion and an innate need to tinker and fix things led him to his career in the Automotive Service Industry. First employed by Liccardi Chrysler, then Flemington Chrysler Plymouth Dodge, he joined what would become his final employer, Avis-Budget Group in Newark NJ in 1997.
In October of 1986, Bob had the good fortune to decide to venture to the Goal Post in Fanwood for a beer or two on 'oldies night'. It was there that with one of his infectious smiles, he met and stole the heart of the young teacher who would become his best friend, soul mate, and partner. Bob & Patty quickly became a couple, ready to battle all life’s ups & downs, side by side. Their life as Mr. & Mrs. began at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Roselle, in April of 1989. Flemington became their first home. But apartment living wasn't for them, and in 1990, they purchased their enchanting cottage on Greenbrook Road in North Plainfield.
Life for Bob & Patty was always a roller coaster ride; one with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and many curves & twists that they never saw coming! Married life included many trips to Raceway Park in Englishtown, home improvement projects, lots of time spent with family & friends, laughter, and motorcycles, oh the motorcycles! When Bob discovered his love of motorcycles, he, and Patty both quickly discovered her hatred of being a passenger. The one rebuilt Honda that Bob started riding, led to his purchase of a Yamaha Virago, which quickly became Patty's. The household became a two-bike family with the addition of a Harley Sportster. That first Harley led to an Ultra Classic Tour Glide for Bob and a Road King for Patty. One of the biggest challenges faced by the Langs was Bob's motorcycle accident. With the loving care of Patty, along with the support and love of friends and family, Bob recovered, and life began again. But soon it would be time to trade the V-twin for the baby twins!
In December of 1995, after months of preterm labor, the Lang's welcomed their twin boys, Anthony John & Colin Patrick. Family life was off to a rough start as they dealt with the NICU, apneas, and bradycardias. But Bob couldn't have been prouder or more in love with 'his boys'. In those first few months, he never went anywhere without pictures of his boys or anecdotes about the twins to bore everyone with! This joy of being a dad did not wane when it was discovered that another little one would soon be joining the family. Life for the Lang Family has always been filled with twists and turns, and this pregnancy would of course follow suit. Less than a month before welcoming their third son John Robert, Bob was unexpectedly let go from his job as part of a restructuring. Lucky for the Lang Family, their Jack brought his own level of excitement and Bob started a new job at Avis Budget. Bob & Patty were way too busy to focus on worry.
The Lang’s a happy being a family. October and Costume Contests quickly became the highlight of their year! Work, school, family, and church were the focus of the Lang Family. Challenges continued, but with Bob as the rock that formed the Lang Family’s foundation, the family thrived.
In 2002, after the heartbreaking loss of Bob’s mother Norma, the Lang Family moved to their dream home in Monroe Twp. They quickly settled into their new community, until their world was again turned on its side in 2004 when they discovered that they would be welcoming a baby girl into their loud and active household. Bob was over the moon in love with this darling little girl. Elizabeth Mary was Daddy’s Girl and she quickly wrapped him around her little finger! The Lang family was complete, and life was good. With Bob as their leader many loud, happy adventures and challenges were faced by the family, always with gratitude, faith, hope, and a sense of humor.
Never the ones to do things halfway, life took a sharp left turn, when in December of 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, Bob was let go from his position at Avis. Bob did not have much time to think about this job loss or how to provide for his family, as Patty suffered a stroke on his last day of work. In one fell swoop, Bob stepped into the role of stay-at-home Dad, full-time Mom, and care-taker extraordinaire for Patty. Bob's tenacity, along with his love and dedication to his family turned what could have been a devastating situation into one of joy and hope. Instead of abandoning his family or his obligations, Bob opened a business that would honor his wife and give the family an opportunity to work together in a meaningful way. A Stroke of Creativity, a paint your own ceramics, fused glass, and painting studio was born. Despite opening a mere month after Patty's second stroke, Bob and his family built a little slice of heaven, a place of friendship and acceptance, not only for his family but for his clients who quickly became family. Mr. Bob, frequently referred to as Mr. Patty by their youngest creators, greeted all with a smile and was the backbone of this venture. Through a Stroke of Creativity, the Lang Family prioritized the idea that the purpose of life is to be kind; to do for & care for others; to first do no harm, and to love with all your heart. From 2010 until it closed its doors in 2016, A Stroke of Creativity was a home away from home, a creative haven for hundreds in the community. When A Stroke of Creativity closed, Bob was welcomed back to his former position at Avis Budget Group. Bob's coworkers, whether they were in the office or parts dept., service techs, tow truck drivers, shuttles, or security guards were all a part of his extended family, and he was very happy to be back with them.
Life for the Lang family has always been a roller coaster ride. Laughter, joy, faith hope, and love have been to the foundation that Bob grew his family on, and it is evident in his children today! Whether you met Bob through work, his family, or at a community event, his infectious smile would greet you. Bob was Patty’s biggest supporter! No matter what she wanted to try or do, Bob was right there cheering her on. Bob was an incredible father. He loved spending time with his children. It didn’t matter if they were building something together, playing Pokémon, going on an adventure, or just hanging out watching a movie or show, Bob’s first choice was always to be with his family. Bob was a dedicated fan of the Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, and Marvel franchises. Oh, and he loved hot sauce. All types of hot sauces…. the hotter the better. The Hot Sauce Challenge became commonplace in the Lang house. It was obvious to everyone who knew him that the most important thing to Bob was his family and the time he got to spend with them. Underneath all of this was Bob’s unshakeable faith. Though church attendance in the last few years was not a part of Bob’s life, daily prayer and meditation were. Bob never wavered in his belief in our Lord and continually relied on prayer for guidance & strength.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Robert John Lang, Sr., and Norma (Eberhardt) Lang.
Robert is survived by his ‘first wife’ Patricia (Byrnes) Lang of Monroe Twp, and sons; Anthony of Monroe Twp., Colin and his wife Taylor of New Egypt, Jack of Monroe Twp., and his daughter, Dolly of Monroe Twp. He is also survived by his favorite father- & mother-in-law, John and Theresa Mary (Jones) Byrnes of Roselle, NJ. Bob leaves behind his in-laws, Sean Byrnes, Brian & Linda Byrnes and William & Sharon Byrnes, his nieces Amanda Koekemoer and Shannon Byrnes, and his nephew, Liam Byrnes. Bob also leaves behind many extended family members, and friends who will remember him fondly for his sense of humor, kind heart, infectious smile, and cheesecake.
A memorial gathering will be Sunday January 30, 2022 from 12 - 3pm at the M. David DeMarco Funeral Home, 205 Rhode Hall Road, Monroe Township, NJ. Memorial services will begin at 2:30pm.
In lieu of flowers and for those who desire, memorial donations in Robert’s name can be made to the American Heart Association www.heart.org or to Wag On Inn Rescue https://wagoninn.rescuegroups.